Ideas for gift-giving and coping with music | Ask Erin

Erin Jennings - Herald
Erin Jennings
— image credit: Herald

Dear Erin,
What’s the best gift to get grandparents, or the people who have it all?

— Ideas needed in Indianola

Dear Ideas,
The old saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” really rings true. A gift shouldn’t be about the object, but should rather spring forth from your thought. So sit back and think about the people you are shopping for this holiday season.

What are their hobbies or interests? Being aware of their interests makes the receiver feel cared for and important. From robot building to collecting antique dolls, it seems like every hobby has a magazine to go along with it. Why not a subscription?

If the person lives locally, how about the gift of desserts for a year? Each month, drop by a new item you baked or purchased. Not only will they enjoy the treat, but they will enjoy your visit.

Perhaps your recipient needs some help around the house. Design a coupon book tailored to his or her needs such as, “Good for raking the yard.” If you go this route, stand by your word and make sure to periodically check-in with the recipients, reminding them of your offers. This helps to erase any awkwardness they may have in redeeming your coupons.

Experiences are always appreciated. How about tickets to the local community theater or movie theater? For fun, you could wrap up the tickets with an inexpensive pair of theater glasses or oversized candy.

For grandparents, you can’t go wrong with personalized items such as a calendar featuring the grandchildren, or notecards made from their artwork.

With a bit of thought, the receiver will be touched by your gift. People can smell “easy gift giving” miles away —in the form of hastily purchased, generic items. Vow this year to think before purchasing. Not only will the recipients be pleased with your efforts, but you’ll be excited to give the gift as well.

Dear Erin,
How do you cope when holiday music is playing all around you and you can’t stand to listen to it?

— No more Fa-la-la-ing in Olalla

Dear Fa-la-la,
You aren’t alone in your misery. There is a Facebook page titled, “I hate Christmas songs,” with 696 followers.

But short of staying home for the next month, or constantly wearing ear muffs, I think you’re out of luck.

Just like the super-early shopping hours on Thanksgiving night, it seems like holiday music began prematurely this year. The week before Halloween, I was shopping at a local grocery store and heard “Jingle Bell Rock,” followed by a song by the Black Eyed Peas. It was almost like they were easing us in to the holiday season.

Your best bet may be to use earbuds or earplugs when entering any store, cafe, elevator or gas station. And by all means, avoid the 24-hour holiday music radio station.

— Ask Erin is a feature of Kitsap Week. Have a question? Write Ask Erin, Kitsap Week, P.O. Box 278, Poulsbo 98370 or e-mail



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